Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's Time the Rabbit Died

I am incensed.

So, you want to know exactly what about that is new. Well, I'm jumping on the "body image" bandwagon.

I firmly believe health and appearance are personal issues -- issues that remain and should remain between you and your Maker. Please do not mistake this with the issues of modesty or propriety -- in no way do I want to see everything your Maker gave you. Personally, I believe health is important; I don't believe that people who agree with me should be persecuted any more than people who disagree. As a matter of fact, several months ago, housewife and mother Maria Kang came under fire for attempting to motivate others to get moving and get healthy. She was accused of "fat shaming" because she called people out on their excuses for not exercising or eating properly. I agreed with her, and came under little fire myself. I never said everyone should be like Maria, and I definitely didn't say I was in any way like Maria. I did say that I have more excuses than Carter's has pills. I did say I was convicted, but not nearly enough to put down the Entenmann's. And I guess, I did say Maria was challenging people to be honest with themselves even more than she was challenging them to lead a physically healthy lifestyle. And, poor, poor Maria should have known what a terrible thing honesty really is in today's society.

Back to my ire. The Huffington Post was celebrating Corey Harrison (of Pawn Stars) for his dramatic weight loss. Kudos to Corey, but that's not what got my goat. Some celebrities have very publicly discussed their weight loss; Jennifer Hudson, for example, looks stunning and healthy. She and several other celebs were acknowledged in the photo gallery below the article about Harrison. Other celebs including LeAnn Rimes.

LeAnn Rimes. The one Huffington Post labeled "Scary Skinny" in March 2011. Then cheered in 2013 for no longer looking "alarmingly thin." Well, the Huff is cheering her again -- this time for "slimming down":

BEFORE                          AFTER

Are you seeing "scary skinny" on the right here? Are you seeing LeAnn circa 2011? 'Cause that's what I see. And now, that is a good thing? Now, that is "slimming down?" Let's ignore the fact that thirty more pounds and "AFTER" would have been labeled "INVISIBLE." Let's ignore the fact that we are holding women to an entirely different and unhealthy standard than we hold men. Let's, please, address the fact that we obviously don't even know what that standard is!

In high school, I remember taking a class in which I was taught how to properly interview for a job. "Never wear brightly colored nail polish. Use a natural shade or, no nail color at all is really preferred." I realize standards change. I realize we're talking a difference of fifteen -- twenty -- thirty years (!), but today, manicures are such a "thing", you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a nail salon. And not just a simple manicure -- tips, acrylics, gels, silks, embellishments; it's all part of the deal. Our eleven year old knows more about this nonsense than I care to know. The pressure on her to have long, luxurious, custom nails is such, that she has been begging for them for the last three birthdays or so. "Go be a kid!" We've gone from "natural" to "the more shocking the better." We have imprisoned, enslaved, inhibited, and objectified women more in the last two decades than ever. And frankly, it disgusts me.

We are forever "upping the ante." Tormenting ourselves with the idea that last year was not good enough, last week was not good enough, and we will never be good enough. Sad for us; terrifying for our daughters! This is not a simple paradigm shift. This is about social acceptance. This is about what makes us "normal" versus what makes us Amish -- or worse. One misstep in the other direction, and you're a ratchet, a ho, a skank, or any other of a plethora of names we give each other. (What do we do when we hear guys talking down another girl? Defend her? No way! We add a few more names to the books. Do you honestly think those names won't find their way to your bio at some point?) We are breeding entire generations of women who have to think about what others want rather than deciding what's best for the individual. We are teaching our daughters to seek the approval of those around them over anything else. Today's ideals of beauty and success are nothing but a rabbit, and women merely greyhounds running and chasing, never actually attaining, and left exhausted and old at the end of the race.

Ladies, the approval of our peers is such a tenuous objective. Why? Because "IN" changes with the wind, society's concept of truth is entirely relative, and not a single one of your peers is going to pay your bills because you spent your money on the latest fashions or starved yourself half to death just to look like ____.

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." ~Ephesians 5:1-2

Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Benchmark that does not change. Jesus is Love -- for one another, for you.
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